Read it for the smoldering clarity of Ehrenreich's perspective and for a rare view of how "prosperity" looks from the bottom.You will never see anything -- from a motel bathroom to a restaurant meal -- in quite the same way again.
The piece inspired the 2011 documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc..
Our sharpest and most original social critic goes "undercover" as an unskilled worker to reveal the dark side of American prosperity.
We reach out to all unemployed, underemployed, and anxiously employed workers—people who bought the American dream that education and credentials could lead to a secure middle class life, but now find their lives disrupted by forces beyond their control." In 2009, she wrote "Bright-sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America", a book that investigates the rise of the positive thinking industry in the USA.
She included her own experience after being told that she had breast cancer, as a starting point in this book.
In 1972, Ehrenreich began co-teaching a course on women and health with feminist journalist and academic Deirdre English.
Through the rest of the seventies, Ehrenreich worked mostly in health-related research, advocacy and activism, including co-writing, with English, several feminist books and pamphlets on the history and politics of women's health.
Ehrenreich is an honorary co-chair of the Democratic Socialists of America. She has received honorary degrees from Reed College, the State University of New York at Old Westbury, the College of Wooster in Ohio, John Jay College, UMass Lowell and La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia.
She also serves on the NORML Board of Directors, the Institute for Policy Studies Board of Trustees and the Editorial Board of The Nation. government forces a dangerous drug, pesticide or other product off the domestic market, then the manufacturer sells that same product, frequently with the direct support of the State Department, throughout the rest of the world." In 2002, she won a National Magazine Award for her essay "Welcome to Cancerland: A mammogram leads to a cult of pink kitsch," which describes Ehrenreich's own experience of being diagnosed with breast cancer, and describes what she calls the "breast cancer cult," which "serves as an accomplice in global poisoning -- normalizing cancer, prettying it up, even presenting it, perversely, as a positive and enviable experience." awarded jointly by the Puffin Foundation of New Jersey and The Nation Institute to an American who challenges the status quo "through distinctive, courageous, imaginative, socially responsible work of significance." Ehrenreich has received a Ford Foundation award for humanistic perspectives on contemporary society (1982), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1987–88) and a grant for research and writing from the John D. Ehrenreich has one brother, Ben Alexander Jr., and one sister, Diane Alexander.
Millions of Americans work full time, year round, for poverty-level wages. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job -- any job -- can be the ticket to a better life.
But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on an hour?